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Department of Commerce honors 2015 Ambassadors for Economic Development

State recognizes leaders as part of 2015 Industry Appreciation Week

Published Friday, April 3, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. –As part of the annual Industry Appreciation Week, the South Carolina Department of Commerce on Thursday announced the 2015 Ambassadors for Economic Development. Recognized for their exceptional efforts to bolster community and economic development activities in South Carolina, the ambassadors were honored in a ceremony held on Thursday, April 2 at the Governor’s Mansion Complex. This year, 48 individuals from 46 counties were selected.

“We’re honored to spotlight these 48 individuals for their contributions to our state. South Carolina’s people are what truly make our state one of the best places in the world to do business, and events like yesterday’s ceremony give us the opportunity to recognize just some of the people that help make South Carolina so special,” said. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Each year the Department of Commerce joins local communities to thank businesses for their vital contributions to South Carolina’s economy during the state’s Industry Appreciation Week.  As part of the celebration, the state recognizes individuals throughout South Carolina as Ambassadors for Economic Development. These individuals include local leaders from the private sector, representing a variety of businesses committed to advancing their communities.

“The success that we’re having in economic development in South Carolina can largely be attributed to our team-first approach. These ambassadors truly reflect the enthusiasm and commitment that makes Team South Carolina so successful, and we’re thrilled to recognize them for all they’ve done to advance their respective companies and communities,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

In addition to honoring the 2015 Ambassadors for Economic Development at last night’s ceremony, the state also recognized five students as Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. The students, which consisted of one 2nd grader and four 11th and 12th graders, were acknowledged for their unique entrepreneurial ventures. Among their ventures were a graphics design operation, baked goods business, art gallery and museum, hair accessory venture and agribusiness company.

For photos of all ambassadors and young entrepreneurs that were recognized during Thursday’s ceremony, please visit the S.C. Department of Commerce’s flickr page.

2015 Ambassadors for Economic Development:

County

Name

Title

Organization

Abbeville

Mr. Jeremy Scott

General Manager

Pro Towels

Aiken

Mr. Pete Davis

Managing Principal

Peachtree Investment Solutions

Allendale

Mr. Robert E. Connelly, Jr.

Owner

Connelly Farms/Farmers Grain & Supply, Inc.

Anderson

Mr. Richard Gaines

Retired Educator

Retired

Bamberg

Mr. Robert Chatman

Retired Educator

Retired

Barnwell

Ms. Kay H. Still

Sr. Vice President (Retired)

Regions Bank

Beaufort

Mr. Randy Mikals

President

Greenline Industries

Berkeley

Mr. Giff Daughtridge

Vice President

Nucor Steel Berkeley

Calhoun

Mr. Jonathan Stier

President

Stier Supply Company

Charleston

Mr. Dick Gregory

Owner

CMMC, LLC

Charleston

Mr. Danny Rowland

Owner

CMMC, LLC

Cherokee

Mr. Rick Jordan

President

Associated Hardwoods SC, Inc.

Chester

Mr. Sandy Martin

Manager

Duke Energy

Chesterfield

Mr. Thomas Hogge, Jr.

President/Owner

Screwmatics of SC, Inc.

Clarendon

Mr. Arnold Kamler

Chairman & CEO

Kent Industries

Colleton

Mr. Gabriel Pascual

Senior Advisor

Crescent Dairy & Beverages

Darlington

Mr. Jack Marchette

Pee Dee Market VP, Business Banking Relationship Manager

Wells Fargo Bank

Dillon

Mr. Marc Czachorski

Director of Business Development

Wyman-Gordan

Dorchester

Mr. Brian Fehr

Chairman and Managing Director

COMACT USA

Edgefield

Mr. Rian True

President

Carolina Covertech

Fairfield

Mr. Robert M. Mueckler

President and General Manager

BOMAG Americas

Florence

Ms. Joan Billheimer

Community Development Officer

First Reliance Bank

Georgetown

Mr. Perry Collins

Owner

Winyah Properties

Greenville

Mr. Don Erickson

Site Director

Lockheed Martin

Greenwood

Mr. Joseph R. (Ron) Millender

Owner

JRM Solutions, LLC

Hampton

Mr. Russ Crowe

Owner/CEO

Progressive Packaging

Hampton

Mrs. Kimberly Crowe

Owner/CEO

Progressive Packaging

Horry

Mr. Doug Wendel

Coastal Carolina Consultants

Jasper

Mr. Brad Talbert

Chief Executive Officer

Coastal Carolina Hospital

Kershaw

Mr. Robb Junker

President and CEO

Hengst of North America, Inc.

Lancaster

Ms. Monica Graham

Branch Manager

Phillips Staffing

Laurens

Mr. Jim Coleman

Managing Agent

The United Agency

Lee

Mr. Ronnie Williams

Retired

Fire Chief of Bishopville/ City of Bishopville Planning

Lexington

Mr. Joe Blanchard

President and CEO

Blanchard Machinery Company

Marion

Mr. Johnson Atkinson

Relationship Manager

ArborOne Farm Credit

Marlboro

Mr. Victor Winogradow

CEO

Bennettsville Printing, LLC

McCormick

Mr. Reg Williams

Operations Manager

Rivers Edge Forest Products, LLC

Newberry

Mr. Wayne McCullough

Owner/President

Metal Masters, Inc.

Oconee

Mr. Robert B. (Bobby) Dover

Plant Manager

US Engine Valve

Orangeburg

Mr. Bill Beard

General Manager

GKN South Carolina

Pickens

Mr. James P. Kaplan

President

Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc.

Richland

Dr. Umesh Dalvi

President and Chief Executive Officer

The Ritedose Corporation

Saluda

Mr. Jason Rodgers

Farm Manager

Titan Farms

Spartanburg

Mr. Jody Gallagher

President & CEO

AFL Global

Sumter

Mr. Guido Hobi

President

EMS-Chemie (North America) Inc.

Union

Mr. Bryan Stone

Chief Operating Officer

Lockhart Power Company

Wlliamsburg

Mr. Bob Rickerman

Site Director

DSM Nutritional Products

York

Mr. Doug Meyer-Cuno

President

Carolina Ingredients

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. Commerce partners with the S.C Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. Consistently, South Carolina has ranked as one of the top states in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment, according to IBM-Plant Location International reports. The state won the Gold Shovel Award and the Project of Year Award from Area Development magazine in 2012. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Allison Skipper, APR
Director of Marketing & Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
askipper@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

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